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  #21  
Old 07-25-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Now I know why Dave didn't want me to cook when he was planning to help me move my boat!
+10.....you refused the portfolio portion
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Old 07-25-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

I agree that planning is the key to great cheffness.
I am not, that's why I let my galley wench (a term of endearment she loves) do all the planning. As said earlier, I keep the boat above water and moving and gladly eat anything she cooks!!

A few years back we spent 5 weeks in the northern Channel Islands, one day we took the boat up and around Point Conception into 20 - 30 knot winds and 15 foot swells (i wanted to feel something more than the normally docile So-Cal sail). Anyway I'm doing 7 - 8 knots healed way over with the Gen and Mizzen sail only, giggling like a little girl with the spray off the bow covering the whole boat.

I'm hanging onto the wheel punching through waves and she comes up the companion way holding out this big pan yelling "I made bread" kinda like Tom Hanks "I made fire"....i was blown away.

We're sailing up there again for the month of August, can't wait.
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Old 07-25-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

as an old cook that I once sailed with, and without a doubt, one of the best, after a well deserved compliment he received for one of many well prepared meals...he commented..."cap, big difference between a COOK and a CAN OPENER"....

amen to that...
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Old 07-25-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

Something else I might add to look for...certifications

In food service, at the very least a hired cook should have a sanitation certificate or certification such as ServSafe, a National Restaurant Association food safety course which grants a simple certificate or certification once a written exam is passed. I was pleasently surprised to learn from one of my former students who is starting work at The French Laundry (a top world. renowned restaurant) that all cooks must pass this exam to work there. Food safety is no joke.

Some other professional certifications you might look for:
CEC - Certified Executive Chef
CSC - Certified Sous Chef
CPC - Certified Personal Chef

These and several others are granted by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the largest organization of chefs and cooks in North America.

There several other industry organizations that offer various levels of certification, this may or not be important but a certification verifies someones skills and knowledge. As I tell students and professionals all the time, if you needed your taxes done, who would you more likely take them to...the person down the road who looks and sounds nice or the CPA? I'm going with the CPA

Of course, there are great chefs and cooks with no certifications so this is obviously not an absolute. A personal recommendation or having tasted their food may be enough. A great reputation is often all that's needed

As mentioned, its one thing to be a good home cook, its a completely different to cook for others when your being paid.
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Last edited by T37Chef; 07-25-2013 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 07-25-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

I think we are getting a little carried away here. The OP asked what to expect when a person applying for a crew position lists one of his skills as cooking. The person is applying to crew on a boat not to be a chef on a boat.
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  #26  
Old 07-25-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

As so often happens on sailnet, we have developed thread creep- we have gone from "cook" to "chef".




If you apply for a crew gig, and say you can cook, you better be able to make five different dishes, under way, without burning the food or the galley or yourself, and be able to improvise with the materials on hand, and have a grasp of provisioning. You should be able to work with proteins and veg, for both omnivores and vegetarians.

If the "crew wanted" ad says, "must be able to cook" then the above applies.
If the "crew wanted" ad says "must be willing to cook" then a lower standard comes to bear.

Sometimes, among a certain demographic posting "Crew wanted" ads, the phrase "must be able to cook" is code for "must be female"
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Old 07-25-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

The one thing Dave forgot to mention was A good cook is always very creative using what's at hand. I've always considered myself a good cook, and not just for my family and friends. Fortunately, I never had to do it for a living, but there's lots of things I've never did for a living and the world is probably better off for that.

Last night I ran out of Margaretta Mix - (perish the thought!) So, I gathered some ingredients from the kitchen and using a bit of common sense, I went about creating a new recipe.

4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup concentrated lime juice
1 cup Silver Tequila

Bring the water to a rolling boil, add sugar, allow to cool to room temperature, stir in lime juice and tequila. It came out fantastic, costs less than to make a half-gallon, and Jose Ceurvo will not be getting $16 a bottom from me anymore unless I'm really in a bind.

Gary
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  #28  
Old 07-25-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebs001:1064454
I think we are getting a little carried away here. The OP asked what to expect when a person applying for a crew position lists one of his skills as cooking. The person is applying to crew on a boat not to be a chef on a boat.
Perhaps...however you know as much as I did when I replied. I simply offering some additional information that one might use if they were looking for a cook as crew or wanting to list them self as a cook for crew... nothing more nothing less. I thought it may be useful to some to know some of the professional terminology that may be associated with the cooking profession.

Call its thread drift, call it more detail than needed, I don't really care. What are you going to do when you're at the middle of the freaking ocean and your cook gets the entire crew sick because they don't know how to handle raw food.

Perhaps the OP was looking for a cook/crew for a short hop up the coast, or a longer several week or month voyage. Maybe the OP wanted to know some information on how he might list himself for various crew opportunities?
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

I wouldnt call food safety thread creep
....nor were the paramaters of the "cook wanted" explained so I didnt see any creep there either.

Maybe some people are ok with PB&J, Spam, and Chef BoyarD. Maybe some want a little more than that. Maybe some are going to cruise down to the Islands for 14 days a need a little more than a five day basic menu. Food and eating well or right has lot to do with morale.

Some for example Dave, SV Auspicious pride themselves on what they produce while underway. Some like Wingnwing have great prowess with pressure cookers. Nnothing wrong with that.

Some like Budwiser and thats all they can taste. Some like Sierra Nevada. Some like white Zin and some like Russian RiverValley Pinot Noir.

I dont remember anywhere in the OP where it reallly defined what exactly what the OP was looking for specifically. As far as I can see all the posters stayed pretty close to the threads original questions and purpose and see no reason to police "tread drift". If its boring,,,then pass it and read on.

I found everyones rsponses interesting and to the point
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  #30  
Old 07-25-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Ritz View Post
I see this skill listed by people looking to crew and wonder what possible advance dishes they could be cooking on most of these ships O.o

Like can I be a cook I make good omletes

Or do I need to make a full 3 course meal?
I think it is all about expectations and perspective.

Are you hiring or applying?

Some rambling thoughts:

People don't usually hire crew for a couple of days so think about provisioning and cooking for long periods. Detailed menu plans rarely work out when you are past reliable weather forecasts. When weather gets sporty some people eat and others need coddling. Plan accordingly. Think through provisioning (flexibility and backup), prep (mise en place), cooking, and service. When the weather kicks up one pot meals are nice for the cook, but one bowl meals are critical for the crew.

The cook also has to think about nutrition and hydration. On many boats the cook is de facto medical officer.

Omelets sound nice but pumping them out for a crew of five to eat together is hard on a two burner cooker. Think scrambled eggs.

You ask about advance dishes. As long as transportation allows, I make homemade lasagna and freeze it hard. Make and can pasta sauce. Sometimes I'll make up and vacuum seal a lamb curry.

Mostly I cook underway. That means being able to keep the food on the counter and in the pots, off the floor, and well organized (remember that two-burner cooker). Think ahead and plan. Grilling or broiling chicken? Make extra for chicken salad later. Cooking pasta? Hard cook eggs at the same time for egg salad later. Making tuna casserole? Bake bread or biscuits at the same time.

A good offshore cook must be able to wedge in and perform. Pump food out and keep everyone fed. Push liquids. Be flexible. Be aware of your audience and be careful with spices. Watch the crew so you can see when people are fragile.

Think about heat in the cabin when you are planning. Some crews are happier with a big meal at midday and something lighter at night (with less heat in the cabin then). The cook should be responsible for a snack bag and midnights underway.

A lot depends on what the boat has in the way facilities. Freezer? Fridge? Cooler? What do you have to work with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Maybe some people are ok with PB&J, Spam, and Chef BoyarD.
Cruising doesn't have to be camping. You should be able to really enjoy your meals regardless of conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Some for example Dave, SV Auspicious pride themselves on what they produce while underway. Some like Wingnwing have great prowess with pressure cookers. Nnothing wrong with that.
I do. I'm happy to share my provisioning lists and meal plans with others. The planning IS important as Shawn and others have noted. Getting it done when things are bumpy is another thing. I don't know how to teach that ...
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